What makes a good team leader?

Great team leader

Decent managers are hard to come by, and many professionals find it easier to remember bad bosses than good ones. But strong leadership can make all the difference to employee performance, motivating staff and ensuring that everyone is working to the best of their ability.

So, what makes a good team leader? And what tools do managerial personnel need for their team to work together effectively? As experts in people management, WhosOffice has put together a list of key qualities that successful managers possess

1. A strong work ethic

Hard working employees want someone they can look up to, as the best managers lead by example. There’s nothing worse than a boss who delegates difficult jobs to the wider team, while enjoying an easy life – so it comes as no surprise that in a survey on the top traits of great managers, 82% of respondents said they need to have a strong work ethic.

Although it’s important for team leaders to distribute tasks amongst the team, they need to be prepared to roll up their sleeves and get involved when their department is up against it. Bosses also need to work hard in their own role, to set a clear vision for employees and encourage them to strive for good results.

2. Excellent organisational skills

A strong manager runs a well-oiled machine, and this is only possible if they possess excellent organisational skills. This is why 75% of people think good leaders need to have a clear grasp of the entire business.

Running a team is challenging, because it involves a fine balance between personal workload and looking after the concerns of other people. To do this successfully, managers need to know exactly what everyone’s role is and their core responsibilities – particularly within shift-based businesses, where the employee mix is constantly changing.

3. A clear understanding of everyone’s strengths

The best team leaders know that everybody in their department is different, and therefore they shouldn’t be expected to do the same job or behave in the same manner. Too many bosses waste time trying to make people conform to the same skills and standards, rather than optimising each role to play to people’s strengths.

This understanding of people’s strengths and weaknesses complements good organisational skills, as a strong manager will be able to balance the employees on shift to ensure that every quality or qualification is covered. This way, staff have a chance to make a valuable contribution, and the team produces great results.

4. Good communications

Unfortunately, many people have experienced working for managers that know what they want, but they can’t articulate it. In fact, a study has found that 57% of employees are critical of their team leader for not giving clear directions.

Transparent communications are only possible if bosses have a clear vision for their company, they know what role each team member will play, and they can mobilise staff to deliver on specific objectives. Achieving this involves a combination of strategy and logistics – so that everyone is working towards the same common goal.

5. A focus on people over processes

One of the biggest challenges that team leaders face is balancing essential admin with the demands of workforce management. Most managers would like to improve on the skills we have already discussed, but they are weighed down by paperwork and processes, which prevent them from paying more attention to their people.

Good bosses embrace change and want to find the tools to make their job easier, so they can focus on the elements of their role that truly make a difference. For many team leaders, an online people management solution is the best way to streamline daily operations – integrating shift planning, leave management and staff updates into one online platform.

WhosOffice workforce management software is helping major companies across the UK and beyond to build a productive, harmonious working culture.

Our platform empowers team leaders, to help them manage employees more effectively, in order to get the most out of them in a positive, productive professional environment. User access can be customised according to seniority – so managerial personnel get access to tools and insight not available to general members of staff, giving them all the resources they require to become an even better team leader.

Are you a team leader? Take a free trial to see how WhosOffice improves the way you manage and motivate staff.

Photo by rawpixel.com of Pexels.com


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Title: What makes a good team leader?
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